How to Stay Motivated Even When Nothing Seems to be Going Right

May 5, 2021 | Features | 0 comments

Have you ever had one of those days when it feels like everything’s going wrong? It happens to every employee.

Setbacks and challenges are inevitable. That’s why it’s important to learn how to stay motivated. Read on and learn how to stay on track in the face of adversity.

RELATED: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed: A Guide on Dealing with Burnout

How to Stay Motivated: 11 Tricks to Stay on Track

1. Set a Vision for Your Life

Having a vision for your life means you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. A vision is like having long-term goals for your personal and professional life.  

For instance, when things get extra challenging at work, you can remind yourself of your vision for your career. Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve, makes the hard work worth it. Success doesn’t happen overnight. You need a clear vision to stay on course.

2. Set Clear and Realistic Short-term Goals

Once you have a vision, it’s time to set goals. Goals are the steps you need to take to turn your vision into reality.

It’s important to set clear, realistic, and time-bound goals because it’ll help you track your progress. Seeing how far you’ve come is a great motivator.

It’s proof that you’re getting closer to achieving your vision. Without clear goals, your dream can seem overwhelming and unattainable.

Remember: Goals aren’t just tasks you have to complete. Your goals should be in line with your vision for your life or career.

Tip: Set deadlines for each goal and make sure to write them down somewhere. That way, you can review your goals regularly.

3. Avoid Multitasking

While many employees believe that they thrive on multitasking, it can have a negative effect on performance. When you divide your attention, you’re more prone to making mistakes.

So if you feel like you’re failing at a certain task, don’t give in to frustration. Try setting aside some time and give it your undivided attention. Remove other distractions, such as messaging notifications, so you can focus on your work.

Multitasking can be disguised as productivity because you feel busier. But sometimes, it actually takes longer to finish an assignment if you’re trying to get too many things done at the same time.

Tip: If you do have to multitask, try to limit it to tasks that you’ve already mastered so mistakes are less likely.

how to stay motivated

4. Experiment with Different Strategies

There’s some truth to the saying: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Sometimes, we can feel unmotivated when things don’t work out even if we exert a lot of time and effort.

When this keeps happening, it may be time to try a different strategy. Try to be flexible enough to course-correct when you need to.

It may help to think of challenges as an opportunity to learn something new. Trying a different approach may invigorate you or your team.

5. Discover Flow

Flow is a mental state of complete engagement. Have you ever been so engrossed in a task that you don’t even notice the time going by? That’s flow.

It’s that sweet spot when your skills are at par with the challenge at hand. When your skill level is higher than the challenge, then you’re probably going to feel bored.

On the other hand, when the task at hand is too challenging for your current skill set, then you may feel some level of anxiety. Prolonged states of anxiety and boredom can be demotivating.

So keep this in mind at work. If you feel like a task is too difficult, then seek out training to help improve your skills. If everything seems too easy, then perhaps it’s time to ask for more responsibility.

Tip: Try to find a company that prioritizes your professional development. It’s easier to stay motivated if you know there’s room for growth.

6. Ask for Help

A support system is a great resource for your professional and personal life. Your friends and family can encourage you when the going gets tough. They remind you of your strengths and can help you maintain a positive outlook.

Professionally, it’s always helpful to have co-workers you can count on. If you’re troubleshooting a problem, it helps bounce your ideas off of someone. Your colleagues may be able to provide a new perspective.

So don’t be afraid to ask for some help. Collaboration is an essential practice in any successful workplace.

how to stay motivated

7. Find a Mentor

When you’re going through tough times as a young professional, it’s easy to feel unmotivated. Setbacks can seem like a bigger deal than they are.

A good mentor or a coach can help navigate you through challenging situations. They remind you of the bigger picture and keep you on track to meet your professional goals.

So try to find a mentor with a lot of experience under their belt. Open yourself up, welcome their feedback, and learn from their experience.

Tip: Be open to mentoring others as well. Mentorship roles offer you the opportunity to self-reflect and make meaning out of your experiences. It’s also rewarding to pay it forward!

8. Prioritize Your Physical Health

There’s an undeniable connection between your physical and emotional well-being. It’s easier to feel unmotivated when you’ve neglected your physical health.

Here are a few things you can do to prioritize your health:

    • Exercise regularly – Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. If you can’t work out in the gym, try brisk walking or dancing.
    • Get enough sleep – Adults should get at least seven hours of good quality sleep every night.
    • Eat a well-balanced diet – Try to fill your meals with fruits, vegetables, beans, and healthy proteins. Avoid foods high in fats, sugar, and cholesterol.
    • Equip yourself with stretches – It’s easy to feel sluggish when you’re sitting at a desk all day. Equip yourself with some easy yoga stretches to help keep your energy up.

Physical fitness can help enhance your overall well-being, so try to stay in tip-top shape! 

how to stay motivated

9. Maintain Work-LIfe Balance

Lack of motivation is one of the symptoms of burnout. One of the ways you can avoid feeling burned out is by maintaining work-life balance.

Having work-life balance means that you have clear boundaries between your work and personal life. This means that when you’re at work, your focus is on work-related tasks.

When you’re off the clock, you’re able to enjoy your leisure time without worrying about work. If your personal life keeps interrupting work, then you may feel unmotivated because you can’t accomplish as much,

On the other hand, you may start to feel unmotivated if you’re working 24/7. That’s why it’s important to maintain work-life balance.

Tip: Make sure you use your time at work wisely so that you can relax and unplug during your free time.

10. Be Kind to Yourself

Sometimes, we are our own worst critics. Remember, no one expects you to be perfect.

Don’t dwell on your mistakes for too long. Growth comes when you’re able to take accountability and learn from your mistakes. 

So try not to be too hard on yourself. Accept that you’re a work in progress, commit to being better, and move forward.

Tip: Avoid negative self-talk and try to be more constructive. For example, instead of thinking “I’m such a screw-up for missing that deadline!” try “I’m going to manage my time better so I won’t have to ask for an extension next time.”

how to stay motivated

11. Indulge in Rewards

A little positive reinforcement never hurt anyone! Make sure to celebrate your achievements by rewarding yourself every now and then.

Rewards are especially helpful if you’re not looking forward to a particular task. A little gift can be a great motivator to help you get the work done!

Try to make your rewards proportionate to the completed task. If you’ve achieved a major milestone, like a promotion, you can reward yourself with something big like a vacation.

It’s common for all professionals to feel unmotivated from time to time. Sometimes, it’ll seem like your passion for work isn’t enough to keep you going. So learn how to stay motivated with these tips.


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